Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle

In late May of 2009 my life seemed to shatter at my feet. I woke up one morning not knowing my water broke with my second child at 32 weeks pregnant. After a week in the hospital my tiny Emma was born but I did not get to take her home with me. Her home was the NICU at St. Mike’s hospital in downtown Toronto for almost a month. Check out our Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle comparison.

I was young at the time and I didn’t know exactly why breast-milk was the best but I knew it was necessary for my little girl to get so she could thrive. I had the Medela Swing at this time so that I could occasionally pump with my first-born but I knew that she would need breast milk for every feeding at the hospital.

We purchased the Medela Pump-In-Style so that I could pump more efficiently while at home. Every 2 hours I would sit down and watch TV while I pumped for my daughter. This period of my life was so stressful. Having a child and NOT having it in your arms is not a pleasant feeling. Knowing that there was other people who were taking care of my daughter was heartbreaking but I knew that I could give her the most important thing, my breast milk. And so I used my Pump-In-Style diligently and my Emma came how several weeks later. I continued to pump for her and I know that part of the reason she is so healthy today is because she got it, that liquid gold!

Fast forward 4 years and I had my third child. We got a breast pump as a gift that was NOT Medela…it subsequently broke less than two months into it’s occasional use as I was only pumping when we were having drinks. Disappointed-yes….Surprised-Not in the least as Medela is the best and customer service is amazing.

So now we have our newest addition and we got the Medela Pump-In-Style because we LOVE Medela and this model is FIERCE! I am going to compare the Pump In Style and Freestyle so that you guys can see the difference and make an educated decision when purchasing your next (or first) breast pump. Also, if you want to look into other Medela models and see which one is the perfect match for your needs you can do so here.

Single & Double Breast Pumping

Both of these models are double breast pumps although they can easily be used as singles. Better to buy a double and save money and time that could be spent with your precious baby.

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle

2-Phase Expression

Both of these models have the Medela invented 2-Phase expression. The best way to describe what this is is that for 2 minutes the pump will do quick small sucks similar to a hungry baby just at the beginning of a feed. After the 2 minutes are up the pumps seamlessly switch to the second phase which is slower, longer sucks and that is where the milk just comes flowing out. This technology gives you not only more breastmilk from each session but it also makes each session faster. If you would like more info on 2-Phase expression you can find it here


When I purchased my Pump In Style it came with a tote although now I see it is being sold as a backpack. The tote essentially houses the Pump In Style motor so you have to carry the tote to have the pump. My new Freestylehttp://amzn.to/2h5Po4w is the motor and it is completely portable. I use my tote to house all of my extra’s so they are in one place.

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle


Both of these models can be either plugged into the wall or run on battery power. The difference with the Freestyle is that it comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts for 3 hours in between charges. For me this means I take my pump with me everywhere. I pump while we are driving places (I’m the passenger) so that I can easily feed baby while we are out and about. Another perk with it being battery operated is the beautiful back-lit and programmable digital display. Great for night time sessions and you can program the exact pattern of your session that works for you.

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle

Suction Strength

Both of the models have adjustable suction strength although the Pump In Style is a knob you turn and the Freestyle is buttons that you can push. Both are extremely easy to use but I prefer seeing the level on the screen of the Freestyle.

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle

Portability & Mobility

Although the Pump In Style is portable it is a tote. The Freestyle easily clips onto your clothes and with the amazing hands-free option you can do other things that matter. I find that I enjoy this most when I am doing work at the computer or needing to do some house hold chores like folding laundry. It is hard enough to find enough hours in the day to get everything done but now I am multi-tasking at it’s finest. I can not tell you how many times we have been late, stuck in traffic and I have been pumping and giving bottles to the older kids so they can feed the baby. Not having to listen to a crying baby or pulling over to feed the baby will make the pump your “breast friend”.

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle

PersonalFit Breast Shields & Connectors

With the Pump In Style the breast shield was larger and just more small pieces. I sometimes did not clean it properly and would have issues with the valves and membranes sticking together like glue. The new freestyle breast shield is 3 pieces that are extremely easy to clean and I find the suction is improved as well. Please note that the PersonalFit Breast shield pictured is not the Medela one that comes in the package but looks the same

Medela Pump In Style vs. Freestyle


I will be completely honest with you in saying I don’t remember exactly what came with the Pump-In-Style when we got it other than the cooler and icepack to store your 4 Medela bottles and lids (included). There was also a 2 bottle stand. In looking at what comes with both kits now it is the same. No matter which of these two pumps you buy you will get the “Breastmilk Feeding Accessories Pack” which includes:

  • 1 Calma feeding solution
  • 10 Pump & Save bags
  • 1 Quick Clean Micro-Steam bag
  • 14 disposable nursing bra pads
  • 1 Tender Care Lanolin sample 2cc
Medela Breastmilk Feeding accessories pack


I never experienced nipple confusion with my kids because I refused to allow this to be a reality in my life. Much to my midwives shock and dismay I quickly put a pacifier in my 90 minute old son’s mouth so I could put my other 3 kids to bed. We seamlessly go from pacifier, to bottle, to boob and back again in this house because that is the way things have to be. But I know this is a HUGE issue with lots of people. Some babies just can’t figure out how to drink from bottles because it is DIFFERENT. Enter Calma which uses the same method as breastfeeding. It looks NOTHING like a normal bottle nipple and just like a breast and is actually 3 different pieces. I like this system because it stops Mr. Man from overfeeding and spitting up and it doesn’t leak!  You can find more info about this revolutionary new system here

Medela Calma

Personally, I love all things Medela and when I look back at the past 7 years being a mom, Medela was such a huge part of our lives. It ensured that my older kids and husband could help me by feeding the babies and get that special one-on-one time that is so important. Currently it allows me to store some extra milk in the freezer for days when I am just running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

If you would like some more information on Medela and their pumps, or breastfeeding in general, I encourage you to visit their website as it is chock full of useful information, studies and videos.

You can also connect with Medela Canada on social media as they always share great info:

Medela on Facebook

Medela on Twitter

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Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

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